Friday, May 18, 2012

The Winchester Model 1876 "Centennial" Rifle by Herbert G. Houze

Model 1876 "Centennial" Rifle by Herbert G. Houze is a new-to-me book I just got in from Billed as, "The first authoritative study of the Winchester Model 1876 written using the company's own records. The specifics of the model - such as the numbers made in its standard calibers, barrel lengths, finishes and special order features - are fully listed here for the first time," the book lives up to that and more. Great illustrations. Clarifications of the actual time line of rifle developments. Just a great book. Could it have been bigger? Maybe, but I don't know enough to say so.

Interestingly included as part of the development of the 1876 rifle (as part of the product improvement of the Henry rifle) is a long description of the Swiss rifle trials and the cartridges produced for those trials. Indeed, since the Swiss wanted more than the .44-40 (.44 WCF) which was a 200 gr. bullet over 40 gr. of powder, a cartridge was produced which utilized a 350-372 gr. bullet over 60 gr. of powder. Also noted is O. F. Winchester's letter criticizing the .450 Martini-Henry cartridge adopted by the British as overly powerful for infantry use. Neat stuff!

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